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Choosing a Recruiting Firm

John Fiumano

by
John Fiumano, CEO

"10 year financial services professional seeks caring recruiter for possible relationship" - Your Guide to Finding the Right Recruiter and Making the Relationship Work for You.

There are three times in most professionals' lives when they contact a recruiter: when they've lost their job, know they will lose their job or have too much credit card debt and need to find a higher-paying position.

For some, there is the "out of the blue" recruiting call. "Sally, my name is Bob. I'm a recruiter. Can you send me your resume?" Now, I'm not implying that this is a bad thing. I've helped too many people get higher salaries and better opportunities to say that, plus my dogs have to eat! What I am saying, is that your relationship with a recruiter should be one of the most important relationships you form over your professional career. Here are some guidelines to make the most of your relationship with your recruiter.

Spend some time getting to know the recruiter. Here are some questions you should ask:

  • What companies have you worked with in the past?
    If the recruiter mentions one of your current employer's competitors, you know that he/she has the ability to effectively market you.
  • What type of positions have you filled?
    If the recruiter has filled the position you currently hold or the position you want next, you can feel comfortable with the fact that he/she understands the career track for your profession.
  • What is your firm's policy in confidentiality?
    Make sure that your resume goes nowhere without your consent. I've heard horror stories, and depending on your industry, it can be a very small world.
  • How long have you been recruiting in this industry?
    This is very important. The longer your recruiter has specialized in a particular field, the better his/her contacts and understanding of your field.

Remember, if you're really going to capitalize on the benefits of working with a recruiter, it must be a relationship, not a one-time deal!

Okay, so you feel comfortable with the fact that you have found a quality recruiter who specializes in your field. Now what?

The relationship between a candidate and a recruiter is not a dance where one person leads and the other follows. In order to be as successful as possible both parties must be active participants. Here is an example of what I mean:

A couple of weeks ago I received a call from a candidate that was referred to me by another candidate.

She said, "John my name is Sue. I understand you specialize in my industry and I wanted to introduce myself". We spent about 15 minutes on the phone getting to know each other.

She then said, "Do you know anyone over at XYZ? I've heard they are looking for a Site Director."

I said, "As a matter of fact I do. In fact, I placed their SVP of Operations a couple of years ago. Let me see if I can introduce you to him."

Two weeks later she had an interview. A month later she had a new position with more responsibility and a greater income. It's not always that easy, but the point is that Sue was an active participant in the process and she utilized the greatest tool available to her in order to land the job she wanted: a recruiter with the right relationships.

Helping your recruiter means helping yourself.

Here are some things you can do to increase your recruiter's chances of finding your dream job.

  • Make sure your recruiter fully understands your background, including current and previous responsibilities. This is the foundation of the relationship.
  • Highlight your unique abilities. Do you specialize in a particular product or use a specific technology? These things help your recruiter target potential employers for you.
  • Explain why you moved from one position or company to another. It's the first thing your recruiter will be confronted with when presenting your information to a potential employer.
  • Tell your recruiter why you would be interested in making a change in employers. A good recruiter will find you an opportunity that addresses any concerns or shortcomings of your current employer.
  • Keep track of any activity by your recruiter. It's important that you know where your information has been sent, whom it was sent to and what the response was to the submission.

It's important that I communicate the fact that you do not have to be actively looking to change jobs in order to work with a recruiter. In fact the relationship with a recruiter should be a career-long relationship. By choosing the right recruiter you greatly reduce the chances of being caught in a situation where you're out of work and need to get a job A.S.A.P.

Establishing a relationship with a quality recruiter who specializes in your field and understands your background is proven to accelerate career progression.

Chances are that your ideal job will become available while you're employed and not actively looking to make a change. By working closely with your recruiter, you will become aware of these jobs when they are available and have the opportunity to be considered for the job!


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